Through Mud and Rain, These Soldiers are Saving Lives on the Battlefield

May 18, 2018
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IDF soldiers during a drill to perform lifesaving medical aid

Friday, 18 May 2018 | The medics of the 282nd Artillery Corps held a medical exercise like none they’ve ever had. They trained in the pouring rain and mud in an exercise that prepares them to save lives in any situation. They returned from the exercise exhausted, but happy to have learned and accomplished so much.

“We’re under fire!” yells one of the officers. In addition to the sounds of gunfire, there’s another shout from the other side. “I need a tourniquet, I have a wounded person here.” No one is in actual danger, but in this special exercise, medics from the 282nd Artillery Corps simulated medical aid under fire in the most realistic way possible.

The purpose of the drill, which took place for the first time in this brigade, was to have the soldiers perform lifesaving medical aid in threatening situations. During the exercise, they trained in settings that simulate operational activity in tense regions and on the battlefield.

“This exercise is of crucial importance,” explains Captain Alon, the brigade’s medical officer.

“Thanks to the exercise, our soldiers can provide imperative medical care during any activity, no matter where or when.”

Cpt. Alon continues: “The goal of our medical teams within this exercise is to be as close to the front-line as possible, which is why they need to know how to act in real-time when the enemy is close. They’ll have to drop to the ground quickly to avoid getting hurt, sneak into the battlefield, and rescue the injured as fast as possible. When soldiers hear the explosions, they feel threatened and react sensibly, which is what we taught them.”

One point made very clear during the exercise was that the best care under fire begins with gaining leverage over the enemy. This means that if during the battles, a soldier is injured, forces must first neutralize any threats before proceeding to aid the wounded. This is a foreign concept to many medics who are trained to administer quick care, which is why it’s so important for them to learn combat skills and experience this perspective in the exercise.

“On my second day as a battalion doctor,” remembers Cpt. Alon, “I had to take care of wounded soldiers in Bethlehem during an operational activity. I remember feeling a big gap between my medical background and lack of training as a combat soldier. Now, as an officer, my goal is to prevent soldiers from having that feeling and to prepare them for this type of scenario.”

This exercise is relatively new in the military system. It has taken place in the 7th and 188th Armored Brigades in slightly different versions to meet the respective brigades’ needs during wartime. “I want every medical team to go through this training,” exclaims Cpt. Alon. “We will continue to invest time and resources in similar content.”

Even wet and muddy, the soldiers were very enthusiastic during the exercise. “They feel like their training has been invested in,” tells the medical officer. “As far as they’re concerned, they received practical and crucial skills for their future.”

Posted on May 18, 2018

Source: (Israel Defense Forces originally published this article on 24 April 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces